A December 1997 ruling by the European Court of Justice has declared that the
Italian state's monopoly of job placement services is contrary to the
principles of free competition, and is therefore illegitimate. The judgment
comes at a time when the job placement system is being reformed in Italy, and
is therefore likely to accelerate the move towards the greater liberalisation
of labour market mediation in the country.
The Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisationen i Danmark, LO)
celebrates the 100th anniversary of its creation in 1998. The celebration
will be most noticeable through a wide range of cultural and union activities
unfolding throughout the year (which will be reported in subsequent EIRO
records), and here we take the opportunity to look at recent developments in
LO's organisation, membership and political links.
In the past decade, Ireland has developed a system of social participation
which plays a major role in the conduct of economic and social policy. This
approach began in 1987, with a three-year agreement  between the
Government, the trade union movement, employers and agricultural interests.
This lifted the country from the deep economic and social crisis of the 1980s
and facilitated a return to growth. That agreement was followed by three
further social partnership programmes, the latest of which is /Partnership
2000/ (IE9702103F ). These agreements determine the growth of pay in both
the public and private sector, but also embody a negotiated approach to a
wide range of economic and social policies. The consensus which underpinned
these agreements was, to a large extent, developed in the National Economic
and Social Council (NESC), a deliberative body in which the social partners
and senior civil servants undertake analysis and discussion of strategic
issues. Following agreement on the strategic priorities, negotiation of the
programmes was undertaken in a separate body, the Central Review Committee,
which also monitors the implementation of the programmes.
The Spanish trade unions and employers' organisations which signed the
important labour market reform agreements in April 1997 (the "April
agreements") have carried out a review of their results over the first six
months, which was published in January 1998. The social partners agree in
general that the results are positive, but have reservations on some points.
A report on the service offered by the Greek public administration, released
in January 1998, contains proposals aimed at achieving greater efficiency,
greater responsibility amongst public servants, better management of the
workforce and a better response to citizens' needs.
A collective agreement on working time was concluded in the construction
industry on 9 August 1996. Although it became effective retroactively from 1
July 1996, its first impact was felt only in 1997. The main aim was to reduce
the industry's reliance on the national unemployment insurance system though
workers being laid off during the winter, and to distribute the cost of doing
so between enterprises and employees. It is now possible to make a first
assessment of the deal's effects.
In 1992, the Municipal Workers' Union (Kommunalarbetareförbundet) and the
Swedish Association of Local Authorities (Kommunförbundet) agreed to change
the collective agreement on pensions then in force, with the effect that the
pensioners did not receive the benefits they had counted on (SE9709136F ).
A former sheet-metal worker, Knut Törling, sued his former employer, the
City of Stockholm, claiming in all SEK 7,794, plus interest on overdue
payment. Mr Törling argued that pension rights are the workers' acquired
rights which a trade union cannot dispose of without a special authorisation
from each member concerned, and he had never given such an authorisation to
the Municipal Workers' Union. Therefore the City of Stockholm could not
invoke the new collective agreement against him.
Recent statistics from Danmarks Statistik, the official statistical office,
show that unskilled male workers' share of total employment in Denmark has
remained unchanged at 18% over the period from 1980 to 1996. Overall, the
share of all unskilled workers dropped from 23% in 1980 to 20% in 1996. The
largest change has occurred for unskilled female workers, whose share dropped
from 26% in 1980 to 21% in 1996. Out of a workforce of 2.8 million,
approximately one million workers are categorised as "unskilled" or
"lower-skilled" in Denmark.
Eurofound’s work on COVID-19 examines the far-reaching socioeconomic implications of the pandemic across Europe as they continue to impact living and working conditions. A key element of the research is the e-survey, conducted in three rounds – in April and July 2020 and in March 2021. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2015. It provides an overview of trends in working conditions and quality of employment for the last 30 years. It covers issues such as employment status, working time duration and organisation, work organisation, learning and training, physical and psychosocial risk factors, health and safety, work–life balance, worker participation, earnings and financial security, work and health, and most recently also the future of work.
The European Restructuring Monitor has reported on the employment impact of large-scale business restructuring since 2002. This series includes its restructuring-related databases (events, support instruments and legislation) as well as case studies and publications.
Eurofound’s Flagship report series 'Challenges and prospects in the EU' comprise research reports that contain the key results of multiannual research activities and incorporate findings from different related research projects. Flagship reports are the major output of each of Eurofound’s strategic areas of intervention and have as their objective to contribute to current policy debates.
Eurofound’s European Company Survey (ECS) maps and analyses company policies and practices which can have an impact on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as the development of social dialogue in companies. This series consists of outputs from the ECS 2019, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2004–2005 as the European Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.
Eurofound's representativness studies are designed to allow the European Commission to identify the ‘management and labour’ whom it must consult under article 154 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). This series consists of studies of the representativeness of employer and worker organisations in various sectors.
This series reports on and updates latest information on the involvement of national social partners in policymaking. The series analyses the involvement of national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, including their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs).
This series reports on the new forms of employment emerging across Europe that are driven by societal, economic and technological developments and are different from traditional standard or non-standard employment in a number of ways. This series explores what characterises these new employment forms and what implications they have for working conditions and the labour market.
The European Company Survey (ECS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2004–2005, with the latest edition in 2019. The survey is designed to provide information on workplace practices to develop and evaluate socioeconomic policy in the EU. It covers issues around work organisation, working time arrangements and work–life balance, flexibility, workplace innovation, employee involvement, human resource management, social dialogue, and most recently also skills use, skills strategies and digitalisation.
The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2003, with the latest edition in 2016. It examines both the objective circumstances of people's lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. It covers issues around employment, income, education, housing, family, health and work–life balance. It also looks at subjective topics, such as people's levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and perceptions of the quality of society.
While the EU is considered to be a global leader in gender equality, it is not yet a reality for millions of Europeans given the different dynamics in the Member States. The EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025 acknowledges the slow speed of progress and outlines key actions to promote gender equality. Have all countries improved their performance? Which countries have been able to dramatically reduce gender inequality? Which countries lag behind?
As part of an annual series on minimum wages, this report summarises the key developments during 2020 and early 2021 with an emphasis on social partners’ roles and views. It looks at how minimum wages were set in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and how minimum wages act as a reference for income support measures. Information from interviews with decision-makers on the process of setting the minimum wage in 2020, along with their assessment of impacts of the proposed EU Directive on adequate minimum wages is also included.
This joint publication with the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents the findings from complementary research carried out simultaneously by both agencies on the socioeconomic impacts of climate policies and measures. While Eurofound focuses particularly on the distributional effects of these policies based on the experiences of Member States, the EEA analyses scientific research about the monetary and non-monetary social impacts of climate mitigation policies and its outcome in terms of inequalities.
The European Green Deal features high on Member State agendas. However, there are concerns that the necessary changes to climate policy may have undesirable socioeconomic consequences, such as regressive distributional effects and increased inequality. This report attempts to identify those policies where there is a significant risk involved and aims to provide guidance on how negative distributional risk can be mitigated.
Based on data from the European Company Survey 2019, this policy brief examines the characteristics of innovative companies and explores the types of workplace practices that are significantly associated with establishments' likelihood of introducing innovation. It also investigates differences between workplace practices of innovative and non-innovative companies. Additionally, data gathered through case studies analyse the role of workplace practices in different phases of the innovation process.
This report investigates the convergence of Member States in various dimensions of living conditions. Indicators are drawn from the European Quality of Life Surveys and other surveys. The analysis pays special attention to particular subgroups such as young people and women. The analysis also investigates the key drivers of convergence in living conditions.
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, a high demand for labour and low unemployment levels made labour shortages one of the key policy concerns in the EU. Even where there is persistent and rising unemployment, individual countries, sectors and occupations are experiencing labour shortages, which in some instances have been accentuated by COVID-19. This report explores various approaches to measuring labour shortages and maps national policy debates around the issue.
As the EU embarks on the transition to a climate-neutral economy, it is crucial to understand the impact of such a transition on production models, employment, work organisation, working conditions, social dialogue and citizens’ lives and living conditions.
The issue of regional convergence and whether disadvantaged regions are catching up with wealthier regions continues to attract enormous attention in the policy debate. This report presents the findings of an investigation into the evolution of social imbalances across EU regions over time, based on indicators including unemployment, social exclusion and poverty. It also examines various aspects of the relationship between growth, regional disparities and interpersonal inequalities.
Digital technologies have made it possible for many workers to carry out their work anytime and anywhere, with consequent advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages, for remote workers and teleworkers in particular, include the risk to health and well-being linked to long working hours. To address this issue, there have been calls for the ‘right to disconnect’. This report includes case studies that chart the implementation and impact of the right to disconnect at workplace level.